Holcim Philippines urges Filipinos to pledge for better future


Cement maker Holcim Philippines has attracted close to 900 individuals to commit specific actions for a better future through its online drive that aims to generate doable pledges for sustainability.

The pledges form part of its nationwide campaign called Sagot Ko ang Bukas, which seeks to simplify the idea of sustainability so it is easier to support. This initiative is in celebration of the 100th birthday of its Switzerland-based principal Holcim Ltd., which attributes its resilience to its founders’ belief that long term business success is possible only by practicing sustainable operation or balancing economic goals with social and environmental considerations.

To do this, Holcim Philippineslaunched in March sagotko.holcim.ph, a microsite where people can pledge for concrete initiatives for the environment and society and benefit the future generation. Pledges could be initiative to protect/preserve the environment, promote culture and heritage, commit to healthy living or practice good values.

Beng Prado, Holcim Philippines vice president for Corporate Communications, said the company decided on the campaign to show people sustainability is not as intimidating as it sounds, and simple actions can contribute to this goal.

“Sustainability is an issue that affects everyone so it is important that as many people as possible think of ways how they can contribute to its achievement. We hope that this effort will convince them that what they do actually matter. The Holcim Group has long been advocating this, but we know we have to keep pushing so that we extend beyond our walls – to our families, business partners, and even to the man on the street.  We know that we have to find a way to bring the concept of sustainability to a personal level,” she said.

To make it easier to get supporters for this campaign, Holcim Philippines created a Facebook page where people can also register their pledges. The company has also commissioned Ebe Dancel to compose the “Sagot Ko ang Bukas” Holcim Centennial Song to help encourage pledges.

 “This can mean many different things to different people – for a student, it may mean developing good study habits to ensure that he has bright future; for a parent, it may mean working hard to ensure that he is able to continue sending his children to a good school.  It could be as simple as making sure we sort out our garbage, or as challenging as helping design green structures for more sustainable communities. The point is, we all have to count ourselves in,” she added.

 So far, the microsite has attracted diverse individuals with pledges that range from the ambitious such as donating solar panels to power 30 homes in a remote village in Banaue to simple ones as  picking up the trash or teaching others.

But more than getting pledges, Prado said Holcim Philippines hopes that those who put down their commitments would follow through on these.

 “We hope that the written commitments will serve as a constant reminder to everyone who pledged that all of us have a role in ensuring a sustainable future - one that is the realization of our children’s dreams, that has enough resources for generations and is well managed by our children because we planted the seed of sustainability.  We plan to support this by continuing the ‘Sagot Ko ang Bukas’ program for as long as we can,” she said.